Tap, tap, tap. Is this mic on…Photo by Eye for Ebony on Unsplash

ATTENTION PARENTS OF GIRLS: In this age of technology and instant access to pornography, ignoring your daughter's sexual development is a recipe for disaster.

Because parents aren’t talking about it, unfortunately, kids turn to porn for sex education. Often parents assume, “I don’t think we are there yet.” So they put off having the discussion. (Hint: You’re not going to get a notification when she is ready.) In the meantime, the average age that kids look at porn is 11.

If you’re not having conversations with your daughter about sex, and deconstructing the messages in porn, no one else is--and who knows where she's getting information and how inaccurate it is! Plus, there's a good chance she believes porn is real and accurately depicts healthy sexual relationships. So it’s important to talk about it!

In our last blog post, we shared how to talk to your teen about porn and how to deconstruct the negative messages. Here, we focus on how to talk about it with girls specifically.

Points to make when talking with your daughter about porn

The porn industry was created by men for men, meeting the sexual desires of men. If men are watching porn for sex education, they don’t understand female sexuality or the female body.

Not all body types are represented in pornography. People come in all shapes in sizes, their sexual body parts are different shapes and sizes, with hair! Don’t let porn make you think you're supposed to look a certain way, or have a specific body type or should be hairless.

Porn leads people to believe it is the woman's job to satisfy a man. In sex and sexual contact, both should enjoy the act, meeting each others needs.

Many of the positions in porn are painful or uncomfortable and are not pleasurable for women. The women are acting like it’s pleasurable, don’t be fooled.

Pornography normalizes aggressive and abusive behavior. It's okay to not be okay with the sexual acts shown in porn. Some men might be surprised when a woman is not okay with these sexual acts because porn makes it seem like everyone is doing these things.

Consent (permission) is assumed in porn. Consent should NEVER be assumed. Only yes means yes.

“Lesbian porn” is not an accurate representation of what sex between two women looks like. Again, what you see in porn is meeting the sexual desires of men.

Lesbian, bi-sexual or questioning females do not exist for male entertainment. Most people aren’t comfortable introducing threesomes into their relationships or participating in one.

Points to make when talking with your daughter about sex

When it comes to sex and sexual contact, if you don’t put your feelings first no one else will. Girls are taught not to rock the boat, to play nice, and to put other people’s feelings first. These qualities can be taken advantage of if you let them. Stand up for yourself.

Don’t let the other people's actions or reactions influence or pressure you into changing your mind. If you're not comfortable with something someone is asking you to do, SAY IT.  Then, stand your ground!

Communicate before any sexual contact about what you are and are not comfortable with. If you aren't comfortable communicating your limits, you’re not ready to be having sex.

Consent needs to be reestablished each time you have sex or sexual contact. Just because someone did it before, doesn’t mean they are okay with doing it again.

The best sex comes from a loving relationship, which is not represented in porn. It’s okay to want and expect a loving relationship. Even if it doesn’t seem to be what other people want.

You can do it

I get it… this isn’t an easy conversation to have. Take a deep breath, pretend you are comfortable and remember, if you’re not having this conversation she may be getting really bad information from somewhere else. Good luck! Let us know how is goes.

Cheryl Kosmerl, MSW, LCSW

Cheryl Kosmerl, MSW, LCSW

I'm a clinical social worker and child advocate. After more than 20 years of working with children and adolescents in a variety of settings I created Sexting Solutions, a successful program designed to teach kids to respect themselves and others, show empathy and stop abuse. Intended as an alternative to legal consequences for kids who were caught sexting, it focuses on building skills that develop a solid foundation for healthier adolescent years and beyond. Connect with me on LinkedIn by clicking the icon directly below.